KC Royals reliever Joakim Soria cleared revocable waivers on Thursday. The Kansas City Royals front office is now free to deal him to any club in baseball.
After the non-waiver trade deadline passes, teams can still make trades. Before teams can deal players, they must offer them on waivers to every other team in baseball. If they choose to use revocable waivers, the offering team can pull back the player if another team claims him, or choose to work out a trade. If the player clears waivers, then the club can freely trade him.
It’s not surprising that Joakim Soria went unclaimed by any team in major-league baseball. The Kansas City Royals signed Soria to a three year, $25 million deal last winter. However, Soria has not lived up to that contract. The 32-year-old former closer has blown four saves this season along with five losses. He’s scuffled with a 4.03 ERA, despite six straight appearances without allowing a run (5.1 IP).
Joakim Soria’s biggest problem for the KC Royals has been his loss of command. As a four pitch pitcher with a low 90’s fastball, Soria needs to locate well. Instead, he’s allowed 3.7 BB/9. That’s the second highest BB/9 of his nine year career, and well above his career 2.6 BB/9.
But, just because the Kansas City Royals put Soria on waivers doesn’t mean they really intend to deal him. The KC Royals have won 8 of their last 10 games and have reached .500. They believe they can still challenge for a playoff spot, despite trailing the Indians by 9.0 games in the AL Central and the Baltimore Orioles by 6.5 games for the second AL wild card. Soria’s rebound over the last six games has been a big part of that surge.
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As long as the Kansas City Royals keep winning, Joakim Soria isn’t going anywhere.
So, how are we to interpret Kansas City asking for waivers on Soria? I see it as a “just in case” move if the KC Royals fall out of playoff contention. In that case, general manager Dayton Moore can clear some salary by flipping Soria to a contender. If Jack continues his recent play, a whole lot of teams will try to acquire him if they need bullpen help.
However, any team that wants to trade for Soria will have to acquire him before September 1 for him to appear in the post-season.
The bottom line is that a Joakim Soria trade is not immanent at this time, but could come to pass if the Kansas City Royals start losing.
Here’s to hoping that Jack stays in Kansas City!